Rohnert Park is a suburban community located about one hour north of San Francisco along Highway 101. Rohnert Park's most visible landmarks are the large retail shopping centers adjacent to the freeway, but if you travel off the beaten path, you can find more distinguished destinations that spotlight the history and unusual features of Rohnert Park and surrounding Sonoma County. Local museums, parks and solar-powered neighborhoods offer interesting diversions for visitors and locals throughout the year.
Rohnert Park in Sonoma County is close to San Francisco, but now features its own great attraction, the Graton Resort & Casino which opened in November 2013.
The largest casino in the North Bay has really put Rohnert Park on the map as a tourist attraction.
Sonoma State University features several preserves that are open to the public for tours. The Environmental Technology Center (sonoma.edu/etc/) is a hands-on demonstration of how the most current sustainable technologies such as solar, wind and water-efficient landscaping can be applied to homes and offices. For a look at local plants and ecology, the SSU Botanical and Kenneth M. Stocking Native Plant Garden (sonoma.edu/ensp/centers_preserves/) features easy hiking trails and garden paths on the campus grounds with interpretive displays about regional plants and animals. At the Fairfield Osborn Preserve (sonoma.edu/preserves/fop), visitors have access to 411 acres of rolling hills, creeks, ponds and wetlands where many different native species call home.
Rohnert Park and surrounding Sonoma County feature a mild, Mediterranean climate that is ideal for utilizing solar power technologies. The Sonoma Mountain Village (sonomamountainvillage.com) project makes use of the region's ample sunshine through the creation of a 200-acre, solar-powered sustainable neighborhood that is the first mixed-use, solar-powered, zero-waste community in the United States and only the fourth in the world. All residents at SOMO reside within five minutes of shopping, services, businesses and recreation amenities that are easily accessible by bike and foot. Although SOMO is in the early stages of development, an events center, cafe and bar are open to the public.
One of Sonoma County's most notable residents was Charles M. Schultz, artist and creator of the "Peanuts" comic strip. Schultz spent the last years of his life in the Sonoma County region, and today a local museum that spotlights his work and contributions to the area is open to the public. The Charles M. Schultz Museum and Research Center (schulzmuseum.org) features the world's largest collection of the "Peanuts" comic strip and memorabilia and hosts events and workshops throughout the year for novice and professional artists. An on-site ice cream store offers refreshments for visitors; children can participate in youth-oriented workshops such as Snoopy decorating classes.
Jack London, author of "White Fang" and "Call of the Wild," is buried at Jack London State Historic Park (parks.ca.gov) in the Sonoma foothills near Rohnert Park. The park formerly was home to the author and his wife from 1905 until his death 1916. Both his and his wife's remains are buried on the property. Visitors have access to hiking trails and small lake, a museum with papers and memorabilia about London, as well as a winery, barns and hand-built home constructed by London.
The Good Nite Inn is close to Bodega Bay, which is prime for picture snapping or romantic strolls. Of course, convenience also counts for a lot. We are right off of the scenic 101, so you're just a short drive from endless attractions.
The Russian River, Sonoma County Fair, Accordion Festival and Charles Schulz Old Time Hockey are unique experiences that are an absolute must. Family-friendly events abound in this region, so take full advantage. No matter what time of year you visit, there will be something exciting happening. The Waves to Wine annual run to support muscular dystrophy is a popular benefit that welcomes crowds from around the country.